For God and Revolution
Priest, Peasant, and Agrarian Socialism in the Mexican Huasteca
Publication Year: 2013
During the early 1880s, a wave of peasant unrest swept the mountainous Huasteca region of northeastern Mexico. The rebels demanded political autonomy for their pueblos, protection for their churches, and restoration of the land, water, and foraging rights that were a part of their heritage—issues with nationwide implications that foreshadowed the revolution of 1910. This account traces the material and ideological roots of the rebellion to nineteenth-century liberal policies of land privatization and to the growth of a radical anarchocommunist agrarian consciousness.
Elite landholders had held sway in the Mexican state of San Luis Potosí since colonial times. In the nineteenth century their seizures of agricultural lands clashed with the rising political consciousness of the Huastecos, who rose up to fight for their way of life. Saka further traces the roots of the Huasteco rebellion to the grassroots religiosity that had developed in the course of centuries of local clerical leadership as well as to a nationalism derived from Huastecan participation in Mexico’s wars against the United States in the 1840s and France in the 1860s.
Published by: University of New Mexico Press
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.../In the summer of 1879 the peasants of the Huasteca P.scotosina, a region associated with the Sierra Madre Oriental of northeastern Mexico, openly rebelled against the dictatorship of Porf_irio Díaz and state elites in San Luis Potosí. They tore down fences, invaded haciendas, seized lands that they felt were rightfully theirs, and established their own local govern-...
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.../M.scany.sc indiv.scidual.scs and institutions hav.sce contributed to this study, f_irst and foremost my wife, Rosa Lilia, whose patience and support John Mason Hart, Tom O’Brien, and Susan Kellogg at the University of Houston proved invaluable as I completed this book. A number of indi-viduals encouraged me throughout the process; I would especially like to ...
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With this edict, we proclaim the just cause of the socialist struggle of the masses that are living in poverty; as close neighbors in the small commu-nities of the Sierra you represent the children of the Mexican nation; and thus you understand the evil hacendados who say that they own all of our land. We must remain f_irm in the face of their actions and take up arms ...
1: The Cultural Geography of the Huasteca Potosina
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The Spanish Conquistadores did not have the right to appropriate through violence the nation’s territory that was already populated; and neither did they have the right to reduce the nation to slavery and servitude against human liberty. The usurpation of the Conquest and the division of our common lands has converted the nation into one of proletariats suf_fer-...
2: From Pueblo to Nation: The Huasteca Potosina, 1810–1848
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The Mexican War of Independence (1810–1821), the subsequent postindependence armed struggles associated with the federalist movements of the 1830s, and, most importantly, the war against the U.S. invasion (1846–1848) severed the Huastecan peasantry from their colonial caste subjugation.1 During the course of these struggles a radical shift in peasant consciousness evolved into an empowered sense of nationalist identity and heightened awareness...
3: Peasant Nationalism and Agrarian War, 1848–1856
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We f_ight against the Lords who have committed outrageous violations against us for many years. They are the true enemies of Mexican liberty, those who have forced us to live in bondage without land, food, or sunlight and have prohibited our tobacco trades by their monopolies. We demand that the Mexican government recognize our historic struggle against the ...
4: War, Foreign Invasion, and Revolution, 1856–1876
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.../In the aftermath of the U.sc.S.sc. w.scar w.scith M.scex.scico, the nation entered a period of sustained political and economic crisis that culminated in the French invasion. Just as they had done in the partisan struggle they waged against the U.S. Army, but on an even larger scale, Huastecan guerrillas once again forged an alliance with the Mexican Army and waged war against ...
5: The Liberal Assault, 1856–1884
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.../In the earl.scy.sc 1870s the ev.scening bel.scl.sc pierced the humid sky.sc in the Ciudad del Maíz, as it had since the f_irst Castilian inhabitants built the Spanish city in the days of the conquistadors. Every night, in memory of the city’s dead, the pueblo marked a moment of collective silence as the local church rang the community’s bell. To U.S. observers such as Cora Townsend, ...
6: The Capitalization of the Countryside, 1856–1884
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.../O.scne of the most significant factors contributing to the nineteenth- century Huastecan rebellions was the privatization of communal landhold-ings. The legal precedent for privatizing pueblo lands began shortly af_ter independence. The state government recognized the pueblos in San Luis Potosí and codif_ied this recognition in a series of land laws passed in 1827. ...
7: Toward a Mexican Theology of Liberation: Padre Mauricio Zavala
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In 1878, when I did not have the eight pesos needed to send my son to school, Padre Zavala pulled four pesos out of his pocket and told me to for-get the rest. He did this for many campesino families and we all respected I joined the movement when Padre Zavala said that the hacienda lands belonged to us who worked it and that we should not have to pay rent on ...
8: Death to All Those Who Wear Pants!: The Huastecan Peasant War, 1879–1884
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The Huastecan rebellions of the late 1870s differed from previous agrarian rebellions because of their coordination with national leadership originating from Mexico City and the provinces, their incorporation of anarchist and socialist ideas, and their coordinated military strategies under cacique Juan Santiago and Padre Mauricio Zavala.1 The 1879–1884 revolution was the outcome of both short- and long-term local conditions that had been building...
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.../T.sche 1879–1884 Huastecan peasant w.scar cl.scaimed the l.sciv.sces of thousands of Huastecan Indians, hundreds of government troops, and doz-ens of estate owners and their families. The destruction of property, Indian villages, and infrastructure set the region back for years. While the long-term origins of the agrarian violence lay in the Spanish invasion of the sixteenth ...
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Page Count: 208
Publication Year: 2013